Dazzler could fall at first again
Saturday evening begins with one of the stalwarts of the BDO world championship taking on one of the young stars of the game as Darryl Fitton faces Benito van de Pas in a match that the bookies see as being pretty level.
Fitton will be making his 11th consecutive appearance at Lakeside and although impressing in patches over the last decade is still yet to get beyond the semi-final and now at 50-years-old it looks like his time has probably passed for winning the world title. He has lost in the first round in the last three world championships; all to quality opponents in Dave Chisnall, Stuart Kellett and Robbie Green, but even so it’s a pretty poor record.
Van de Pas is only 19 but made his debut at Lakeside last year and only very narrowly lost to Alan Norris in a high quality first round match. The youngster is a 5/4 second favourite for the contest and although he hasn’t made a big impact on the circuit this year there is a feeling his career is on the up whilst the Dazzler’s is on the decline and so 5/4 with Bet Victor looks a decent price.
The second contest sees last year’s quarter-finalist Alan Norris takes on Welshman Wayne Warren who at 50 is only making his second appearance at the world championships. Warren had never really made much impact on the BDO scene but has enjoyed a successful year in 2012 with his first ever tournament win at the International Open, followed by a semi-final at the England Open and a runners-up spot at the BDO Gold Cup.
Norris has also been in good form though having won the Welsh Masters, the Luxembourg Open and managing a runners-up spot at the Zuiderduin Masters. He is a strong favourite for the contest and given his much more prolonged success over a number of years and more experience on the big stage it is understandable why. Warren has shown form of his own though and although he will probably lose, he will push Norris and there could be a number of close sets. Most places have over 16.5 legs in the contest at odds-on but Sky Bet judge it at evens and this looks a pretty good price.
The final clash on Saturday sees a former world champion against a man who really should have won the title in a real heavyweight contest between John Walton and Tony O’Shea. The former of course won the title back in 2001 beating Ted Hankey in the final but the latter has twice been runner-up, most recently last year and even at 51 is still considered a contender for the championship this year.
Walton’s career has been a funny one, he reached a huge peak in 2001 winning near enough everything he entered but it quickly fell away after that and has made just two world championship quarter-finals since then. O’Shea is the much more consistent performer and although he doesn’t have the major title to match Walton, is certainly the better player at this stage despite them being the same age. There is not a great deal of value to be had out of this match with O’Shea a strong favourite, but even at odds-on the 4/6 on O’Shea (-1.5) looks worth taking.
Benito van de Pas to win @5/4 with BetVictor
Tony O’Shea (-1.5) to win @ 4/6 with Bet365
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